These huge spaces are truly unmissable but they do not have a monopoly on culture! There are also other smaller, more private galleries with their own high-quality programmes. Palau de la Virreina and Palau Robert are good examples of that, and both of them happen to be free!
Palau Robert: An architectural gem
Palau Robert is worth a visit for the building alone. Finished in 1903, it was originally the private residence of the marquis de Robert, a Catalan aristocrat. Henry Grandpierre, the architect who worked on the World Expo in 1900 in Paris was responsible for the construction of the neoclassical style building.
In 1936, the civil war rumbled and Palau Robert became the property of the Catalan government, which made it the seat of its culture department. The marquis de Robert regained his private residence a few years later but the Catalan government bought it back for good in 1981 to house free exhibitions.
You can still admire the original staircase, the glass roof, the arched doorways and the cast iron decoration.
Palau Robert’s exhibitions
Palau Robert has no permanent collection but organises exhibitions all year long. The themes are very varied from photography, science, culture, and business to fashion and politics…
International cooperation, aid and development are also two recurring concerns of Palau Robert, which regularly hosts solidarity concerts.
In fact, the aim of the exhibition centre is to bring Catalan values such as creativity, innovation, solidarity and initiative to the world.
The information is only in Catalan, in Spanish and in English. But in most exhibitions, the images speak for themselves…
Palau Robert’s gardens
Behind the Palau Robert are hidden gardens which are very pleasant on sunny days. The palm trees date from the Barcelona World Expo in 1888. Old roots!
Located at the corner of Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal avenue, the gardens offer quiet and tranquility in a busy and nosy district. With its shaded benches it’s the perfect place for a little break away from the tumultuous streets.
Free concerts take place here the first three Thursdays in July.
- Palau Robert is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sundays and holidays from 10am to 2:30pm.
- Entry is free
- An application is available for smartphone in Spanish, Catalan and English. It contains explanations on all the exhibitions and useful and historical information about the place.
- Palau Robert is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- You can get the complete program here
- There are two other branches of Palau Robert in Madrid and in Brussels.
Enjoy your visit!